Countdown on to ScotRail strike decision

Countdown on to ScotRail strike decision

ScotRail is planning to replace striking rail staff with managers and supervisors during COP26 if tonight’s 17.00 deadline passes without a last-minute agreement with the RMT over a pay offer. It is reported that the government is not optimistic that there will be a settlement at the eleventh hour, while the RMT has described tonight’s deadline as ‘a gun pointed at our head’. ScotRail has justified the cut-off point by saying that it needs time to confirm its contingency plans, which will concentrate on providing trains between COP26 host city Glasgow and the Scottish capital Edinburgh. The climate change summit is due to start on Sunday and run for two weeks.

++ 08.30 update: RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: ‘Time is running out to get a fair deal for Scotland’s rail workers and avoid a shutdown during COP26. We stand ready to get back round the table right now but the political leadership in Scotland need to lift their arbitrary deadlines and clear the road blocks to getting those talks back on. The ball is in the SNP’s court. They need to take responsibility for bringing us to this point and get into a dialogue with the union that puts pay justice on the agenda. We are waiting.’

TfL launches new campaign against sexual harassment

Transport for London has launched a new campaign opposing sexual harassment on its trains, trams, buses and property. The campaign highlights various forms of unwanted sexual behaviour that take place on public transport, and ‘aims to send a strong message to offenders that sexual harassment is not tolerated’. TfL said the safety of women and girls was ‘an absolute priority’, and that its campaign was intended to challenge the dismissal of harassment as ‘something that happens’ because it is ‘never acceptable’. TfL is working in partnership with the Rail Delivery Group, British Transport Police, Metropolitan Police and women’s safety groups.

Information trial aims to ‘reduce frustration’

A new information service has gone live on large screens at London Paddington, Reading and Bristol Temple Meads, which aims to improve the standard of information provided during disruption. GWR and Network Rail have developed the service which includes video updates and will be provided between 06.30 and 19.30 as a trial until late November. Network Rail said ‘filling this gap in information is designed to help reduce passengers’ frustration’.

SWR starts rail safety project

South Western Railway is investing £40,000 in a new rail safety project in partnership with UK Youth, to educate young people between 11 and 25 about the dangers of committing vandalism, trespassing on the railway and misusing level crossings. The course will be run during the winter and spring at Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre in the New Forest National Park.